Exposure Ramping With Pulse

 

  • Primarily tie it in with the App and use cases
  • Relate LRT into use cases for Expo Ramping
  • Monitoring the Histogram
  • Changing settings on the fly quickly w/o bumping camera or messing up TL
  • Able to monitor the TL and shift the exposure from preset Expo Ramp if needed

One of the big issues with taking 'Holy Grail' time lapses is that you often will change your settings manually on your camera- potentially exposing your time lapse to camera shake. With Pulse and Radian 2, you can change your camera's exposure wirelessly from your smart phone or program Radian or Pulse to ramp ISO and shutter for you! Check out the video above to get an idea of what you can do!

What is Exposure Ramping and the 'Holy Grail' of time-lapse?

Exposure Ramping is a method by which the shutter speed (exposure length) and/or ISO (light sensitivity) of your images is changed as your time-lapse progresses. This is useful in situations with gradually changing light levels, like a sunset or sunrise. 

In general, the rate of change of light during a sunset or sunrise is exponential, not linear. The exact rate of change depends on your latitude and time of year, but for most regions, the light during a sunrise will fall somewhere between doubling and quadrupling every 10 minutes, for the duration of the sunrise. 

Please note that Exposure Ramping is a fairly advanced method and that a good amount of trial and error is necessary for the best results. We recommend attempting a few tests in your backyard to figure out the best settings for your camera and location before trying for the best possible shot.

Gear needed:

1 x Pulse or Radian 2

1 x Tripod

1 x DSLR

1 x Smartphone for programming

Tips and tricks

Duration

In the continental United States, 45 minutes is a good reference point. This will depend on the duration of the sunset in your region (it varies by latitude and season).

Initial Exposure

You will want this to be as short as possible, to minimize the length of your maximum exposure.

Pro trip: Keeping the exposure duration as short as possible will also reduce sensor noise, which increases over time. 

Exposure Change

In the continental US, 1.9 f-stops/10 minutes is a good starting place. However, this will also vary depending on your latitude and season.

Both the Pulse app and Radian app will give you feedback on what results to expect based on your input settings.

ISO Ramping

One of the biggest advantages to using a USB tethered intervalometer, such as a Pulse or Radian, is that you can change the ISO along with the shutter speed during your time lapse. The ISO allows you to increase or decrease your camera's sensitivity to light, thus allowing you more creative control over your shutter speed. 

Holy Grail Time-lapse Software

LRTimeLapse - Used in conjunction with Adobe's Lightroom, LRTimelapse can do wonders for your time-lapse. The software essentially allows you to keyframe your time-lapse, and change a number of your settings (exposure, contrast, saturation, white balance, highlights, shadows, etc) over time. It also allows you to deflicker your time-lapses (caused by camera aperture imperfections, sudden changes in light, or from manually adjusting exposure), which is especially useful for manual bulb-ramping. Gunther (the creator) is an awesome fellow who has also created a number of easy to follow tutorials, and also has provided for free on his site Lightroom templates for automatically converting images into time-lapse videos!